|By Elizabeth Weitz|
Written and Directed by Max Landis
Starring Luke Bracey, Dustin Milligan, Emily Meade,
Alia Shawkat, Haley Joel Osment, Geena Davis, Scott Bakula
You know how in Lethal Weapon when Danny Glover’s Murtaugh says “I’m too old for this shit” and you laugh because you’re young and you have no idea what he’s talking about (How can anyone be too old for stuff?)?
Well Max Landis’ (screenwriter of Chronicle, Victor Frankenstein and American Ultra) directorial debut, Me Him Her makes you feel like Murtaugh, if you aren’t a Millennial, you’re too old for this, well, not shit, but something just as annoying, and, to be honest, it’s disappointing to realize that.
Me Him Her‘s premise seems like it would be an interesting one: TV star Brenden (Luke Bracey) is ready to admit that he’s gay but wants his best friend Cory (Dustin Milligan) to come out to LA to be his emotional support when he tells his parents (Geena Davis and Scott Bakula).
The “Her” in the story is lesbian Gabbi (Emily Meade) who has just suffered a brutal break-up with her girlfriend and drunkenly hooks up with Cory at a gay bar and now has to deal with the fact that she kind of likes him.
All of this “Coming Out/Coming to realize” really does have the potential to provide a deeply moving and darkly funny story, unfortunately in this case it gets lost in a sea of thrown-together 90s pop culture references and manic humor that seems better suited to a YouTube video and not a 98 minute film.
While there are a few funny bits in the film (Haley Joel Osment playing himself – as Brenden’s co-star in the TV show Hard Justice – is great), the film itself feels like a blob of insider friend jokes mixed together with a dash of Red Bull and thrown against a wall to see what happens. It might work for a particular niche audience, but for most people, their inner Murtaugh wins out in the end.
What’s unfortunate is that Max Landis is a talented writer and knows how to create a good story. He’s even adept at comedy, most notably his short, The Death and Return of Superman, which is amazingly good, but Me Him Her is not a good representation of what Landis is capable of and that is sincerely discouraging to any fan of his.
Hopefully for Landis, his next attempt will be less chaotic and more in line with the level of skill seen in his previous screenplays and shorts.
That’ll make Murtaugh will be happy.